How to Choose The Right Grit Flap Discs For Your Project
A flap disc can be used in many manufacturing applications for good reason. How are flap discs different from other surface treatment instruments like cutting and grinding wheels?
The design of flap discs, usually referred to as flapper wheels informally, is suitable for use with right-angle grinders. Depending on the needs of the operator, they offer vigorous stock removal or careful blending and finishing. In comparison to grinding wheels, they offer more adaptability, maneuverability, and lower vibration and noise levels.
Flap discs are great options for a variety of applications because they enable the operator to complete grinding and finishing in a single effective step that saves time and money. They grind similarly to tough grinding wheels, but because they are simpler to use, there is less chance that you will gouge the workpiece. They also continue to work even after an area of abrasive wears out because new abrasives are exposed. They also tend to feel softer than grinding wheels, which lowers the possibility of overly aggressive grinding that can remove too much material from the workpiece.
An angle grinder's flap disc selection for a facility must take shape, material, density, and abrasive grain type and size into account. This blog covers all aspects of choosing the appropriate grit for flap disc performance.
SELECTION OF ABRASIVE GRIT MATERIAL
Ceramic is your best choice if you want your flap disc to function to its full potential. As they grind, the ceramic grains microfracture, continuously exposing sharp edges and maintaining a high cut rate throughout the disc's lifespan. It works perfectly on difficult-to-grind metals and is suited to workpieces made of common steel, tool steel, armored steel, titanium, high-nickel alloys, stainless steel, and aluminum.
In addition to a top coat, ceramic alumina offers a quick cutting rate and a reduced grinding temperature to assist in safeguarding priceless, heat-sensitive components and avoid workpiece heat fading. The top coat also aids in avoiding loading with soft alloys, which is the build-up of workpiece material on the flap disc.
High-performance edge grinding and vigorous stock removal are both possible with a flap disc made entirely of zirconia alumina. Zirconia alumina is self-sharpening and withstands extremely high temperatures and pressures with ease. It offers a quick cut and a long lifespan with proper use and upkeep. Cast iron, carbon steel, structural steel, and stainless steel workpieces are perfect for it.
CERAMIC ALUMINA/ZIRCONIA ALUMINA BLEND
Fast grinding, dependable operation, and a long disc life are all provided by a ceramic and zirconia alumina combination. Compared to other grain combinations, this one grinds more easily. For flat surface grinding, especially on workpieces consisting of structural steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, and cast iron.
Aluminum oxide discs provide a powerful initial cut rate, a firm, long-lasting grain, and quick stock removal. They also perform consistently. For all-purpose applications and workpieces composed of metals like steel and cast iron, aluminum oxide is the best material. It is not, however, shelf-sharpening; its crystals will lose sharpness over time. In general, it offers a balance between performance and value.
SELECTING AN ABRASIVE GRIT SIZE FOR YOUR APPLICATION
Similar to how sandpaper grains vary in size, flap disc grains do as well. Flap discs typically have an abrasive grain size between 36 to 120, with smaller numbers denoting greater, coarser grit and larger numbers denoting smaller, finer grit.
Below is an explanation of what some of these values mean for flap disc performance: In general, flap discs need coarse grit for initial workpiece shaping and stock removal and finer grit for refinements like blending, finishing, and repairs.
- REMOVAL OF HEAVY STOCK – Larger abrasive grit in the 36–40 range makes it easier to do labor-intensive tasks like removing heavy stock from workpieces.
- EDGE BEVELING AND CHAMFERING – Edge operations like chamfering and edge beveling are made easier by using larger abrasive grit in the marginally more expansive 36-to-60 range.
- WELD GRINDING AND BLENDING – For uses like weld grinding and mixing, abrasive grit with a size range of roughly 40 to 60 is ideal.
- DEFLASHING AND DEBURRING – Deburring tasks are best completed with an abrasive grain of 60 grit
- BLENDING AND REMOVING RUST – For fine jobs like rust removal and blending, an expansive range of abrasive grits between 60 and 80 is ideal.
- FINISHING AND CLEANING – For more delicate refining tasks like cleaning and polishing, finer abrasive grit with a size range of roughly 80 to 120 is ideal.
COMMON MANUFACTURERS OF FLAP DISCS
We've already talked about how different grain sizes improve the performance of flap discs, with coarser grains good for removing initial stock and finer grains better suited for finishing. For example, an operation that needs a flap disc for grinding welds may choose a large to medium grain size. The impact of disc diameter on speed and surface area has been covered. We have looked at the best abrasive grains for various purposes.
Let's now consider the various industries in which flap discs are used:
- CONSTRUCTION – The use of 5- or 6-inch flap discs is frequently helpful in construction applications. A 5- or 6-inch disc offers the performance required for the job site while being light and transportable enough for use in construction.
- FABRICATING METAL IN GENERAL – For the manufacture of most types of metal, flap discs are essential. They are good tools for many metal workpieces because of their flexibility and versatility for a variety of grinding operations, from stock removal and deburring to cleaning and finishing.
- DEVELOPMENT OF A PIPELINE – Aluminum Tiger The industry standard for the pipeline sector, back flap discs offer robust support for maximum aggression. These wheels resist rolling the bevel ends before welding and are excellent for removing excessive pitting. Additionally, the aluminum backing stops the grinding disc from catching on the bevel.
- ALUMINUM / SHIPBUILDING – Aluminum is frequently the metal of choice in sectors like caravan fabrication and shipbuilding. Due to the soft nature of aluminum, which tends to load, a flap disc with a top coat is essential to prevent the disc from clogging. We now provide Tiger Aluminum, which also has a top coat, in addition to Tiger Ceramic. Tiger Aluminum provides a special paired flap design for high-performance aluminum grinding at a remarkable price.